Ultimate Guide to Building A Cedar Deck

Are you thinking of building a deck this year?

Maybe a brand new deck, a small remodel or a complete replacement…

As the summer draws closer and we think about spending more time outdoors, we often think of improvements for our backyards. Especially in the midst of the pandemic.

A wonderful, cost effective and long lasting project to consider is a customized deck. We prefer ours to be made from Western Red Cedar due to its climate adaptability and beauty, but everyone has their own preferences.

There are many factors that go into any build so we wrote this blog with the intention of helping anyone from a beginner to a novice, build their perfect deck. Our methods are quick, efficient and cost effective to boot!

Western Red Cedar Decking, Railing, Trim, Timbers and Beams

When building anything, it is important to plan your build ahead of time. We have helped tens of thousands of people build decks over the years and there are a few things that really stand out with the most successful projects.

Believe it or not, we have also seen some epic fails and eventually rebuilds, so it really is critical to get your deck right the first time.

Here are the 6 main things that will make your deck building process easier

  1. Get your permits in check
    Before you start doing any kind of building, it’s important to determine whether it’s legal to do so. Many neighborhood communities have regulations to deter certain types of building. Decks are usually fine AND you will want to check about permitting, rules and regulations first.
  2. Call 811 to mark any underground utility lines. We can’t count the number of times someone had begun digging on a project without doing this and they cut right through important lines that will then put your project on hold and can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
  3. Have the correct tools and equipment on hand
    Contractors and builders have the right tools most of the time but many homeowners will try a DIY project and realize that they are ill-equipped to complete the project without spending hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars on tools.
  4. Always order extra materials
    Trust me, you don’t want to get caught short and not be able to finish the job. Decking supplies are already scarce in 2021 and finding more, later in the year might not happen. So, instead of getting yourself in such a complicated situation, it is probably best to just order extra materials early on. It is not going to cost a lot of money and you could always use those leftover materials for future projects or to repair something.
  5. Consult with a professional at least once before you start
    Many companies will offer an opinion and basic advice for your project free of charge. This might or might not be useful especially if you find out it is too much to handle yourself and you want to hire them.
  6. Set up the area for safety and convenience
    Once you have the required documents, tools, and materials to start building, it is time to set up the area that you will be working on. Not just for your deck area but also room around it, so you will have enough space where you can move around freely to work. It is also important to inform everyone in your household to be very careful around this working area.

Once the surrounding area for work has been marked, it is time to start the construction. 

If this is a remodeling project, it is also essential that you remove any old decking (if applicable) and check the underlying structure to make sure it can support your new build. Note if your structure is framing material or decking material.

Now you are ready to get started building your deck. Keep in mind that if the deck is attached to your house, you will need to waterproof your siding where it will attach to your deck. Another item to keep in mind is to use stainless steel fasteners for your project. Straight galvanized material will corrode and leave a chance of a long term material failure.

Watch the video below for complete instructions and how to remove an old deck and get started on a new one.

A quick tip we also love to share is to use unusual lengths when building. Incorporating 8”,10” and 14” planks is an easy way to save some money, especially on large builds and projects. Lumber is generally cheaper per foot, if you can make use of shorter lengths. Shorter lengths are also easier to handle than the longer lengths and can be hauled in the back of a pickup truck, rather than having to buy or rent a trailer.     

If your deck is not covered make sure you do not use a solid stain, as it doesn’t fair well in the elements

Now let’s start building the frame that is the foundation for your new deck.

Last but not least, here is how to install the boards on your frame.

Building a deck is a great idea! Not only can decks improve the overall value of your home, they can also provide hours and hours of enjoyment.

A deck is a perfect addition to any backyard. It is a place where you can sit down with your family, have some breakfast, drink your coffee before work, and maybe even entertaining your friends.

The 2021 Building Season Is In Full Swing! 

If you are building in 2021, make sure you order your materials now, don’t wait. In the last couple of months, we have continued to see a high demand for our Western Red Cedar products, along with the Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Douglas Fir and Port Orford Cedar species for exterior siding, interior paneling, ceiling paneling, decking and/or trim.

We continue to see people running into lumber shortages this year due to the Covid-19 disruptions to supply chains and the increased demand for specialty lumber products as residential spending continues to lead construction numbers not only in 2020 but now again in 2021. 

We are recommending that all our customers make sure they have everything they will need this year for their 2021 building projects and secure the lumber and other materials as far ahead of time as possible. 

Need help with your next building project? Request a quote here and/or call us at (800) 597-7191 with any questions.

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